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SDI Snapshot - June 2019

How can one gauge the impact of Canadian wildfires from space? What is Canada’s roadmap for digital delivery? What’s new in Esri vector basemaps? Find out more on what’s happening in Canada and globally in the world of Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) in this collection of the latest and most significant SDI news, data, and products.

SDI News

The Government of Canada announces winners of the Smart Cities Challenge

Canada's Minister of Infrastructure and Communities recently announced the four winners of the country's first-ever Smart Cities Challenge. The winners will receive prizes worth a total of $75 million, which will be used to implement their visions. The winners are the Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia; Nunavut Communities, Nunavut; the City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario; and the City of Montréal, Québec.

An EPIC view of smoke over Canada

Image courtesy: NASA Earth Observatory/ DSCOVR EPIC

Smoke from several large wildfires in Canada was so thick and widespread that it was easily visible from 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth. NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite acquired this image on May 30, 2019, when a river of smoke was streaming east across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Canada’s roadmap for digital delivery of all public-facing government services by 2025

Canadian Digital Service’s recently published report, entitled “The Innovation and Competitiveness Imperative: Seizing Opportunities for Growth”, issued this challenge to the Government of Canada: Digitize all public-facing government services by 2025, so they are accessible by web and mobile phone and available behind a unified login system.

Canada marks major milestone in defining its continental shelf in Arctic Ocean

After more than a decade’s worth of scientific and legal work to determine the limits of Canada’s undersea landmass in the Arctic, Canada recently filed a 2,100‑page submission with the United Nations in New York. This marks the first step in the process set out by the UN to obtain international recognition for Canada’s outer limits in the Arctic Ocean, which will confirm Canada’s rights over this area. This is a critical step to fully define the map of Canada.

SDI Data

What's new in Esri vector basemaps (May 2019)

Esri has announced several data updates in the basemap tile set. These changes include HERE commercial data updates, authoritative Community Maps Program contributions (including Canada), Community Maps Editor additions of highly detailed “campus” areas, and open data updates. In addition to updated map content, several map styles were improved. The most notable change is in the World Navigation vector tile layer. The updated style allows for better use on mobile devices through Runtime, ArcGIS Online and Pro applications.

Geospatial data could strengthen public service delivery and business growth

William Priest is charged with delivering a strategy to revolutionize the UK’s management of geospatial information. As chief executive of the UK’s Geospatial Commission, Priest is charged with creating and delivering a cross-government strategy covering all public data with a geographic component. The UK ranks number two in the global Geospatial Readiness Index; but the government believes that stronger, more coherent policymaking could boost economic growth.

SDI Products

Discover patterns in your data with ArcGIS Arcade

ArcGIS Arcade is an expression-based scripting language for data in your maps. You can use it to do basic calculations, convert field types, and configure symbols, labels, transparency and pop-ups—all without leaving the map. And you don’t have to be a developer or GIS expert. Arcade is for anyone who wants to transform their data values on-the-fly; for example, changing the total number to a percentage.

Esri releases ArcGIS Excalibur, a modern web application for imagery

Esri has released ArcGIS Excalibur, a focused web application that enables search, discover, and image exploitation for timely intelligence. As a next-generation front-end web experience, ArcGIS Excalibur is integrated with ArcGIS Enterprise to improve access, discoverability and use of imagery of all types to include national and commercial sensors.

How Esri’s geospatial software and the Cloud helps business, government and research succeed

Esri is leading the way with a comprehensive geospatial cloud strategy and platform for supporting a complete spectrum of location capabilities. These capabilities range from simple mapping and location analytics to sophisticated tools for addressing complex geospatial problems. Most Esri users are systematically integrating Esri’s cloud-based geospatial capabilities into their operations.

About the Author

Gordon Plunkett is the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) Director at Esri Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in GIS and Remote Sensing in both the public and private sectors. He currently sits as a member of the Community Map of Canada Steering Committee, GeoAlliance Canada Interim Board of Directors, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Technical Committee, the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) Committee on Geomatics, the University of Laval Convergence Network Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board to the Carleton University Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre. During his career, Gordon has worked on projects in more than 20 countries and has contributed to numerous scientific conferences and publications. At Esri Canada, he is responsible for developing and supporting the company’s SDI vision, initiatives and outreach, including producing content for the SDI blog.

Profile Photo of Gordon Plunkett